Prague - Its seems that the Czech Republic, which is one of the biggest "debtors" in the collective security system, wants to start repaying its "debts" and increase its defence spending in harmony with its commitment towards NATO, Daniel Anyz writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.
Ministr obrany Martin Stropnický (vlevo) navštívil 25. dubna českou jednotku mise EUTM ve výcvikovém kempu v Kati v Mali, kde ho přivítal velitel EUTM, francouzský brigádní generál Marc A. Rudkiewicz. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal
He comments on Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky´s (ANO) visit to the United States where he said the military´s budget must be raised, though in the past he was trivialising the army commanders´ warnings against a critical situation in the military due to its underfunding.
"However, let us wait whether the minister´s resolution from Washington will survive the clash with the Czech reality," Anyz writes.
He reminds of ANO´s elections platform saying the movement will push for the Czech Republic to be a trustworthy member of NATO and stop degrading the military.
As a political force that has filled the posts of the defence and finance ministers, ANO has now a unique opportunity and responsibility to fulfil its words, Anyz concludes.
Czech supreme officials need more dignity in their public behaviour, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in Pravo today, commenting on a discord between President Milos Zeman and PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) about plurality of offices.
He recalls that Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky as well as Zeman and Sobotka uttered respectable words on the eve of May Day when they all supported a rise in the military funding.
Zeman and Sobotka agreed that the government should increase defence expenditure to be able to meet its commitments ensuing from NATO membership.
Yet Zeman, on the one hand, insists on the fulfilment of NATO commitment and on the other hand, he meddles in the affairs of the senior government CSSD, which is none of his business, and he is actually inciting to the violation of the party´s commitments.
Mitrofanov recalls that on Wednesday Zeman supported Sobotka´s rival Michal Hasek and he also said it was a personal matter of each CSSD regional governor whether he would combine this post with that of a lawmaker, which is at variance with the CSSD´s resolution.
Mitrofanov writes that such a statement by the president does not look serious.
Sobotka, for his part, said Hasek would not be invited to the CSSD´s board meetings though he has the right to attend them as head of the Association of Regions.
More dignity might do both statesmen good, Mitrofanov concludes.
Czechs should rather ask what they have given to the European Union (EU) than vice versa, Jan Machacek writes elsewhere in Hospodarske noviny (HN) in connection with the tenth anniversary of the country´s EU entry.
He says it is typical of the debate on this anniversary that Czechs ask what the EU has given to them, while no one is interested in how they have contributed to the Union in ten years.
Machacek admits that the Czech Republic has hundreds of qualified and hard-working officials in Brussels and it has provided another piece of the joint market for Europe.
"However, a real contribution is measured in the form of ideas," Machacek writes.
It is true that the Czech Republic had president Vaclav Havel highly respected in the world, but his presidency expired a year before the EU entry, Machacek says.
Since then the Czech Republic has not offered so much to the EU, he adds.